If you don’t want to polish your rig yourself but still want it looking its best, there are a few options although most are focused on the caravan market rather than motorhomes.
Vantec Caravan Protection (call (03) 9761 5552) uses a coating applied to the exterior bonded aluminium or fibreglass finish of caravans. The sealant with UV-resistant resins is claimed to be maintenance-free. It acts as a barrier to airborne pollutants and makes cleaning of grime and insects easier. The exterior treatment, available for caravans only, starts at around $600 (more for larger vans). Vantec also does interior fabric protection for both motorhomes and caravans. Vantec has been in business for 22 years and hasn’t had a van come back yet for re-treatment. It takes around half a day to treat the average van, which needs to be left overnight for curing.
Another product is Therma Shield (call (07) 3807 4244), which is actually an insulating paint that you add to the layers of factory caravan paint. This DIY product costs $131 for 6L, which is what you need to cover the roof of the average 22ft van with two coats. Therma Shield works best as a three-stage application though, using an etch primer first, then the Therma Shield and then a top coat, which will give a semi-gloss finish, and this package costs $227 for the same setup. Doing this yourself will take about three days but is claimed to last 10 years.
To have a new or nearly new van or motorhome professionally detailed, using high-quality paint cleaners and polishes/sealers, will cost from around $600, although that price could easily double for a rig in poor condition.
Visit a detailing enthusiasts’ forum such as http://detailparadise.com.au or www.autopia.org for loads of information on detailing techniques and products.
As feature in the June edition of Caravan World magazine, out May 13.